Simpson College

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Coordinates: 41°21′52.2″N 93°33′54.0″W / 41.364500°N 93.565000°W / 41.364500; -93.565000

For the college in Redding, California associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, see Simpson University.
Simpson College
College Hall at Simpson College
Established 1860
Type Private
Endowment $78,609,361[1]
President Jay K. Simmons
Academic staff 87
Undergraduates 1,485
Location Indianola, IA, USA
Campus 85 acres (340,000 m2)
Nickname The Storm
Website http://www.simpson.edu

Simpson College is a four-year, coeducational liberal arts institution situated in Indianola, Iowa, USA, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Simpson, which has been fully accredited by North Central Association since 1913, is a small school with approximately 1,400 full-time students and 500 part-time students. In addition to the main campus in Indianola, the college has classroom facilities in West Des Moines and Ankeny.

Simpson has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 10 comprehensive colleges in the Midwest. In the 2004 report, Simpson College was named number 1 in the "Best Value" category for midwestern comprehensive colleges. Simpson was also named by College and Character, A national initiative of the John Templeton Foundation as one of 60 colleges that offer students an exemplary first-year program. And Peterson's Competitive Colleges guide features Simpson as one of approximately 440 colleges and universities that the top students in the nation attend.

Simpson's campus is located 12 miles (19 km) south of Des Moines, providing Simpson students with easy access to various attractions, resources, and employment and internship opportunities in the Greater Des Moines area.

History[edit]

Simpson College was founded in 1860 and was named and based on the beliefs of Methodist minister Matthew Simpson. Simpson is best known as the minister who spoke the last words at Abraham Lincoln's grave in Springfield, Illinois. His beliefs are passed on to the students and professors of Simpson.

September 28, 2010 marked the 150th anniversary of Simpson's establishment as an educational institution, being the anniversary of the first day classes were held at the school. To celebrate the event, current students and alumni were invited to attend a picnic in the center of campus, out in front of Carver Science Hall. Following the picnic, a time capsule was buried containing pictures and other memorabilia submitted by students. The capsule will be uncovered in 2060, on Simpson's 200th anniversary.

Campus[edit]

Historic College Hall (formerly Old Chapel)

The 85-acre (340,000 m2) tree-lined campus is bordered on the north by Buxton Park. Simpson blends tradition with practicality which is reflected in the architecture on campus. Many of the buildings have been renovated in keeping with their historic past, and new buildings blend the traditional look of the campus with an energetic dimension. The theater building, an example of the Brutalist architecture that dominated American campus construction in the 1970s, was renovated and added on to in 2010-11, softening its features, but is a notable exception. The renovation and addition to the theater building is the first of many construction projects that Simpson has planned for the next five years.

Other notable construction includes the building of the brand new Kent Family Campus center, which replaces the old Brenton Student Center as the center of student life. The 55,000-square-foot campus center will house new meeting rooms and offices for student groups, a student activities theatre, comfortable living room settings, a grille and snack bar, a coffee house, a new book store and post office, and new professional space for the Student Development staff.

Simpson also recently renovated their outdoor track and football field. In addition to rebuilding the entrances and fences surrounding Bill Buxton stadium, the school invested in what has been dubbed the most innovative artificial turf system in the world, FieldTurf Revolution, for the fall of 2011 school year. The new-era Beynon BSS 1000 running track, similar to the new tracks installed at the University of Virginia and The University of Iowa, was also installed for the 2011-12 school year.[2] The renovation of Simpson's athletic facilities will continue in the future with a proposed design for a new bi-level weight room in the current pool area and two new classrooms in place of the current weight room. This move was made possible by the construction of a new YMCA on the north side of town that will contain an Olympic-sized pool and will host swimming meets for both Simpson College and the local high school.

Simpson offers a variety of residential housing options, including two freshmen-only residence halls, other traditional residence halls, apartment-style living, theme houses and an active Greek system. All Simpson living facilities include air conditioning, lofted beds, carpet, furniture, social lounges and wireless internet.

Organization and administration[edit]

The college had an endowment of $56.6 million as of June 30, 2009.[3]

Academic profile[edit]

Simpson's curriculum includes more than 40 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. Course work is structured in a 4-4-1 format, with classes running Sept.-Dec. and Jan.-Apr. before the 3 week May Term. This provides students with many unique learning opportunities, including internship programs, career observations and a variety of Study Abroad programs that take place over May Term.

Beginning in Fall 2011, most courses at Simpson are four credit courses. Simpson also implemented their new Engaged Citizenship Curriculum, which is largely based on the AAC&U LEAP initiative. The new curriculum attempts to build seven different Embedded Skills into all courses. The seven skills are:

In addition to classes in their major, students are required to take courses in seven specified Areas of Engagement:

  • The Arts
  • Civic Engagement
  • Diversity and Power in the United States
  • Ethics and Values Inquiry
  • Global Perspectives
  • Historical Perspectives on Western Culture
  • Scientific Reasoning

In order to meet the global perspectives Area of Engagement, many students will take an overseas course, which may be completed throughout an entire semester (with exchange programs in London, Germany, Argentina, Thailand, and Tahiti) or over May Term, which provides different selections every year. Some the of recent May Term travel courses include trips to China, Thailand, Italy, London & Paris, Ghana, Belize, and the Netherlands. Simpson ranks among the nation’s top 100 colleges in percentage of students who study abroad, according to U.S. News and World Report.[4]

In addition to these requirements, students also take two courses to bookend their Simpson Experience: the Simpson Colloquium and the Senior Capstone. The Simpson Colloquium is taken during the first semester of college and is designed to help students make the transition to college life. The Senior Capstone is a culminating project in each student's major demonstrating their proficiency in a chosen field of study.

Music[edit]

Simpson is notable for being the only college in the United States with an entirely student-cast undergraduate opera program that is supported by a largely professional orchestra. Two fully staged productions a year with admission open to the public and free to all students are staples of the Simpson calendar. Alumni can be found at the highest levels in opera performance, artistic administration, and music education.

Music at Simpson has been fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1947, and confers the degrees of Bachelor of Music in performance and in music education, and the Bachelor of Arts in music. It is widely recognized as offering a premier education for vocal, piano, and instrumental students. Simpson develops the unique gifts of each student through a combination of one-to-one music instruction, classroom teaching, and countless performance opportunities. Aspects of the program have been cited as "outstanding" by U.S. News and World Report and the program in voice as "exceptional" by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Simpson College enjoys an historic close partnership with the Des Moines Metro Opera, which makes it home on the Simpson campus over the summer, with performances in Simpson's Blank Performing Arts Center. It provides Simpson students with the invaluable opportunity to experience professional opera on their doorstep, and to serve as interns and production staff in the summer opera festival. Many singers from Simpson have taken part in the DMMO Apprenticeship Program, an opportunity afforded usually to only the most talented graduate students and young professional singers from all over the United States.

Athletics[edit]

Simpson College athletic teams are nicknamed the Storm. They compete in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in NCAA Division III. Simpson fields men's teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, American football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field, and wrestling. Women's teams include: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Simpson also fields cheerleading and dance squads.

Simpson College has appeared in the NCAA tournament many times:

Baseball appearances: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2004

Men's Basketball appearances: 1976, 1992, 1995, 1996

Women's Basketball appearances: 1983, 1985, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Men's Cross Country appearances: 1986

Women's Cross Country appearances: 1990

Football appearances: 1988, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2003

Women's Golf appearances: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006

Men's Soccer appearances: 2000

Women's Soccer appearances: 1999

Softball appearances: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2010

Volleyball appearances: 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2009

The Storm has achieved the honor of being Regional Champions also:

Baseball: 1991

Football: 1997

Softball: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

The Simpson College softball team won the NCAA Division III National Championship in 1997 and 1999.

To help support Simpson College athletics there is a non-profit organization funded by the Indianola community and other alumni called the Gold Club. The Gold Club was founded in 1976 by members of Simpson and the Indianola communities, the Simpson College Gold Club is designed to support Simpson College athletic programs. The Gold Club strives to inspire all athletic programs at Simpson College through a loyal display of school spirit and monetary contributions.

Gold Club members are former athletes, alumni, faculty, parents, and other athletic supporters who share the common interest of fostering the development and growth of Simpson College athletics.

Student life[edit]

The Simpsonian, the nation’s oldest continuously published college newspaper, is the student newspaper. It provides formal practical experience for students interested in journalism and serves as a forum for student opinions and ideas.

The Zenith, the College yearbook, founded in 1890, is published under the direction of a student editor and student staff and has copies for students at no cost.

Sequel is an annual Simpson literary arts magazine, assembled from student and faculty contributions including: paintings, photographs, drawings, short fiction, and short non-fiction.

KSTM, 88.9, is the student operated campus radio station. It has limited wattage and the signal does not really carry outside of Warren County.

Intramurals allows students, faculty and staff to become involved in recreational activities. The campus community is invited to participate, and participants may do as many activities as they wish. Over 60% of the campus participates in one or more of the programs offered through the Office of Intramurals and Recreation. Events are widely varied and skill or expertise is not requirement when participating events. The goal is to participate and have fun.

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is one of the main programming organizations on campus. CAB is an organization run by students for students and provides programs like, comedians, bands, movies, hypnotists and the popular "Stormy Nights." CAB provides many opportunities for involvement, ranging from being an active participant and member of CAB, to just attending one of the many programs offered.

Simpson Forum[edit]

Throughout the school year, Simpson holds numerous forum events. These are events that are meant to extend a student's education beyond the classroom and allow for personal growth. These events include Simpson-produced arts events, faculty-organized discussions, research symposiums, and expert speakers from outside of Simpson who discuss a wide range of topics. Recent experts include Gabriel Ajak, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, former U.S. Senator John Culver, and former U.S. Senator and presidential nominee George McGovern among others. Forum events are a requirement for first-year students, as they must attend at least four events throughout the fall semester, but are optional beyond that. Simpson also offers an additional credit to students who attend at least 90% of designated forum events in a semester.

John C. Culver Public Policy Center[edit]

The Culver Center was established at Simpson College in 2010 to honor the service of John Culver, who served the people of Iowa for 16 years in the US House of Representatives and US Senate. The Culver Center is dedicated to encouraging civic engagement and public service. The fellows program awards four year scholarships to up to five incoming Simpson students who demonstrate a commitment to public service. The annual John C. Culver Lecture brings a prominent figure in public service or politics to campus to meet with students and deliver a lecture, which is open to the public. Lectures have included Senator George McGovern, Political Journalist Mark Shields, and Supereme Court Reporter Linda Greenhouse. http://culvercenter.org/

Campus Day[edit]

Campus Day has been an annual tradition at Simpson College since at least 1911. The idea was conceived by the student body to suspend classes one Tuesday and put in a day of cleaning campus buildings and grounds. Faculty did not know until they arrived at campus to start classes, but were glad to pitch in.[5] The cleanup of campus became an annual tradition and eventually expanded to the Indianola community. Today, nearly 60% of Simpson students take part in campus day activities, which include campus-assigned projects, a grill out, and a late night dodgeball tournament. Historically, Campus Day was picked early in the year by the student government and reserved as a surprise to the rest of the student body, but today it is announced ahead of time so that students can plan ahead for it.

Greek life[edit]

Simpson College has a deep-rooted Greek life history. It is home to seven Greek organizations: three national fraternities; Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Tau Omega, Lambda Chi Alpha, one local fraternity; Kappa Theta Psi, and three national sororities; Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, and Delta Delta Delta. Every April, one week is set aside in the Greek community for Greek Week, a series of coed competitions that instill a sense of unity among the houses, while providing friendly competitiveness.

Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) is the oldest fraternity on campus, tracing its history at Simpson back to 1885. The fraternity is known nationally as the "leadership development fraternity". After briefly being shut down along with 3 other fraternities on campus in the 1890s, ATO was rechartered in 1905 and has been in continual existence ever since. The Simpson College ATO chapter has produced many prominent names at the school. Nick Ackerman, the wrestler who won the Division III national championship despite having no legs, was an ATO, as were some of the most prominent names at Simpson College, including Bill Buxton, Bill Buxton, Jr., Dick Buxton, and James Weinman, all of whom have facilities on campus named in their honor. In Oct. 2010, ATO celebrated its 125th year on campus.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), founded in 1889, is the second oldest fraternity on campus. It is currently the largest fraternity on campus in terms of members. The men of SAE pride themselves on living by the code of "The True Gentlemen."

Kappa Theta Psi (KOY) is the oldest local fraternity west of the Mississippi.[6] It was founded in 1902, shortly after a time when four other fraternities on campus (including ATO and SAE) had been shut down due to anti-Greek sentiment. After the quest for a national re-charter from SAE failed, KOY existed for many years as only a local fraternity. After the chapter was nationally chartered in 1969 as an Upsilon Delta chapter and subsequently was shut down by nationals and by Simpson college, KOY returned to campus in 1979. The fraternity saw much success in the 1980s and 1990s, but membership died off in the 2000s and KOY was removed from their house on fraternity row. They currently have a house a couple of blocks from fraternity row, being the only fraternity on campus not located on fraternity row. However, due to recent growth by the fraternity and meeting standards set by Simpson College, KOY has returned to their former residence on fraternity row, formerly Worth Hall.

Lambda Chi Alpha (LXA) traces its roots at Simpson to 1924 where it existed as the national fraternity Theta Kappa Nu, which merged with Lambda Chi Alpha in 1939.[6] Recently, Lambda Chi has become known on campus for having many members involved in music and theatre at Simpson. LXA is one of the leading fraternities on Simpson campus for scholastic achievement, as well as the only Greek Organization on campus which has ceased to use "pledging," in favor of an associate membership program.

Pi Beta Phi (Pi Phi) is Simpson's oldest Greek organization. Pi Phi has been at Simpson since 1874.[6]

Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG) was on Simpson's campus for nine years between 1880 and 1889. After a 100-year absence, it was re-established in 1989.[6]

Delta Delta Delta (DDD or Tri-Delta) has been at Simpson since 1889 and is the longest running Tri-Delta chapter in the nation.[6]

Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) sorority also had a Simpson College chapter for over 100 years, before it closed its doors in the early 2000s.

Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) co-ed fraternity that is an honors fraternity for students who show exceptional scholarship. Nomination is mandatory for membership, and members can only join their freshman year.

Notable people[edit]

Wallace Hall (formerly Science Hall) housed George Washington Carver's first college classrooms.

Simpson College was the first college attended by George Washington Carver.[7] Carver entered Simpson as an art major, but became interested in the natural sciences after receiving advice from a fellow student. Carver once remarked that his time at Simpson taught him that he was "a human being." Carver left Simpson College to complete his undergraduate education at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). Both schools have buildings named in his honor Carver Science Hall, at Simpson, and Carver Hall, at Iowa State University.

Nick Ackerman attended Simpson College in the late 1990s and early 2000s. His wrestling performance in which he won the 2001 NCAA Division III Championships was named as one of the top 25 moments in NCAA history. Nick lost his legs to bacterial meningitis as a baby but this did not hold him back.[8]

Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner also attended Simpson College for a brief period of time in the early 1990s.[citation needed]

Former Chicago Alderman, 52nd Mayor of Chicago, and current Cook County Clerk David Orr also attended Simpson College for his undergraduate degree. Orr is an American Democratic Politician from Chicago, Illinois. He was Alderman of the 49th Ward in Chicago from 1979 to 1991. In 1987, he served briefly as Mayor of Chicago after the death of Mayor Harold Washington and was recognized for his strong and sensible leadership during one of the most tumultuous periods in Chicago’s political history.[9] Serving his 23rd year as the Clerk of Cook County, Orr is responsible for the third largest election district in the United States (among other duties).[10]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]